Over the last decade the integration of web-based technologies into the film supply chain has accelerated a huge shift in the way documentary films are distributed and exhibited. This shift has seen a move away from the previous analogue systems- built on the exclusivity of time and space- into new convergent and transnational methods based on digital systems. This has (had) huge ramifications for all areas of documentary making, none more so than on the issue of documentary ethics. Above all other forms of film (and filmmaking), ethics is one of the key factors that define and distinguish the documentary film. However, much of the ethical frameworks and discourse currently used are from the previous analogue period of distribution and exhibition. Using the making of a feature documentary as a case study, this article explores how the changes in exhibition and distribution have affected the ethical frameworks that have traditionally informed the making of a documentary. The study concludes by demonstrating how current ethical frameworks and safeguarding procedures, undertaken by both documentary makers but also regulatory bodies, need to be rethought in order to respond to the challenges inherent in this transnational landscape.
Alamouti, D. (2020). The digital ethical space: towards a transnational documentary ethics, a filmmaker’s point of view. Transnational Screens, 11(2), 103–120. https://doi.org/10.1080/25785273.2020.1734305
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